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Raphael is a phytoplankton ecologist who wishes to understand the fundamental question: what controls phytoplankton growth and distribution in the ocean? More specifically, how do the multiple interactions of light, macro- and micronutrients and phytoplankton physiology determine the rates, processes, and patterns we observe in the marine environment?


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Kendra is interested in the application of molecular tools and techniques to better understand harmful algal bloom ecology and toxicity.  Her Masters thesis focused on developing a QPCR method to indentify Pseudo-nitzchia species at the Monterey Wharf.  She’s become more involved with algal toxin analysis since joining the Kudela Lab and her current projects include monitoring at the Santa Cruz Wharf and SCOOP.

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Mariam is a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz at the Ocean Science Department. She graduated from the California State University of Los Angeles with an M.S. in Environmental Science and from the University of California Irvine with a B.S. in Earth System Science. She has been an intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory since June 2019. Mariam's research interests are utilizing remote sensing and machine learning to identify and classify marine pollution and coral bleaching.

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Aubrey is a Ph.D. student in the Ocean Sciences department at UCSC. She is interested in plankton dynamics with special focus on marine chemical ecology and harmful algal blooms. Aubrey completed an M.S. in marine science at the University of Gothenburg and a B.S. in biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. Her previous research projects include evaluating the use of copepod cues in predicting biotoxins from harmful algal blooms on the Swedish west coast and characterization of ciguatoxins in Caribbean fish at the UK Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science.

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Patrick is a Ph.D. student in the Ocean Sciences department. His research is in understanding the physical and ecological drivers of variability in phytoplankton abundance and community structure. Before starting at UCSC, Patrick worked at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute for the CeNCOOS program as an oceanographic data manager. He completed an M.S. in Marine Science in the Physical Oceanography Lab at Moss Landing Marine Labs and a B.S. in Biology from the University of San Francisco.

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I’m a PhD student in the Ocean Sciences department. I’m interested in algae-bacteria interactions and using various ’omics methods to study algal toxin biosynthesis. I graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland with a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry. Some of my previous research projects include investigating the blue mussel gut microbiome, impacts of microplastics on bacterial and viral communities, and the biophysical structure of microbial enzymes.

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Marco is a PhD student in the Ocean Science Department. His interests lie in microscopy and toxins produced during harmful algae blooms along the California Current. Currently he is working on updating a domoic acid forecasting model in the Pacific Northwest. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences. Additionally Marco enjoys volunteering for Surfrider Foundation, regularly testing Enterococcus concentrations around Santa Cruz County beaches.

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Itomi is a fourth year undergraduate student studying Marine Biology. She is interested in imaging and toxicology. She has been involved in the Kudela lab since 2022. Previously, she was involved in the Cabrillo College plankton monitoring program with NOAA.

Rohini is a first-year undergraduate studying Marine Biology. She is currently interested in trophic cascades and plankton ecology. Having recently joined the lab, Rohini is excited to learn about all of the lab's current projects and start her journey in academia.